Had this happened 10 years ago, I would have been full of attitude and expletives. I would have taken my turn to be the blamer and the victim. I would have shown that ‘I DON’T NEED THIS RIGHT NOW’ attitude and I would make sure everyone knew I was angry.
Yesterday was very different. It was a testament to the care I have started taking of myself – beyond food and exercise.
Yesterday was about compassion, but not for the other driver. This was a healing act of kindness and compassion for myself, for my human ability to make mistakes. Even deeper than compassion is the knowledge that even if I make mistakes, I am still worthy of love and connection.
One of the side-effects is that I started treating other people kinder than I did before, I show more patience and I use my words more carefully – just like I care for myself now. (It’s a constant work in progress.) As I began to accept my faults and weaknesses, it became easier to accept other’s faults and weaknesses.
So I asked her if she wanted a hug.
There was no real damage (plastic bumpers sure save a lot on paint jobs) and she had a Lehigh University parking tag and looked horrified and scared. My first inclination was to hug her and trust me I’m not a touchy-feely person – especially when it comes to strangers. And I hugged her.
She insisted on sending me her information anyway and her message to me was full of gratitude and through her words, I know that she felt compassion and kindness. In fact, in her words: ‘…you are really a cooling breeze for me today‘.
I like that description. No. I love it.
What I like even better is that I FEEL really grateful and touched by the whole event. As if it gave me a reason to connect with someone, show compassion in a scary situation and be reminded how kindness really is its own reward.
May you find or be a ‘cooling breeze’ today.